Far to the south of The Shackles and Salamonis lies the mysterious region known as the Dragonlands, named after the formidable Lizardfolk who call the place home. Covered almost entirely by jungle and drenched by regular thunderstorms the southlands are an inhospitable place for the unprepared.
The land route to the Dragonlands is nigh impassable. It is a journey of some 800 miles, across the Burning desert and then over the southern tail of the Dragonspur Mountains. The sea route, while far easier is still not without it’s dangers, the Western coast of the Dragonlands is lined with razor sharp rock reefs and swept by powerful currents. The small island chains along Darkfell’s western coast are also a favourite haunt of pirates hoping to prey on the trade between Salamonis and the rest of Orithia’s nations.
That being said, dozens of ships every year attempt the trip, only 1 in 6 ever arrive at thier destination, the frontier township of Drakeclaw. One part trading town, one part evangelical camp and one part fortress Drakeclaw was founded by Capitavirate traders hoping to win over the lizardfolk with manufactured goods and worship of Heironious. This failed miserably and led to the town being besieged on it’s penninsula for nearly 2 years before the Capitavirate withdrew it’s troops and allowed the civilian leaders to negotiate a truce. An uneasy peace currently holds sway in the town although the truce becomes more solid with every passing year. The traders and treasure hunters from Salamonis, and other nations, come here lured by gold and ancient artifacts while the Lizardfolk leaders hope to expand the horizons of thier nation. Many of the lizard tribes also look to the steady flow of battle hardened adventurers as little more than powerful mercenaries to use in thier endless tribal wars.
The Lizardfolk themselves are split broadly into two nations; Lesshta (metallic) and Karnok (chromatic), both of which have had some contact with the settlers from ouside. Most peaceful contact has been with Lesshtan Lizardfolk although they are a proud people and are easily offended, so peaceful relations are not a certainty. Karnok Lizardfolk, due to thier heritage, tend to be more aggressive towards outsiders though this again is only a general rule. A powerful band of adventurers could make staunch allies in the warlike Karnok. Open war between the Lizardfolk nations has become rarer of late as the vicious Dragon Wars come to a close (mainly because of a lack of Dragons to continue fighting) but both sides maintain a vigil along their borders. Tribes from different draconic backgrounds often wage vicious war on a tribal level with one another. These wars can last for generations and can be started from anything as petty as a personal squabble to competing for resources and are not always fought along the same chromatic-metallic borders as the Dragon Wars themselves.
However, these tribal feuds serve a useful purpose given the rapidity with which lizardfolk can reproduce and the speed of thier maturity. A lizardfolk is generally fully mature within 2 years and an average spawning from only a small tribe with 8 or 9 females can produce some 25 individuals a year. Few lizardfolk will live beyond 5 years due to war, disease or the vicious creatures which inhabit their jungle home.
Religion in the Dragonlands is based almost exclusively on which side of the border a Lizardfolk is from. Lesshtans revere Bahamut, the platinum dragon and treat metallic Dragons as his holy envoys. Meanwhile Karnites follow Tiamat, the queen of evil dragons and are ruled over by the vicious chromatic Dragons of her spawining. Before the arrival of the Dragons however, the main religion was that of Semuanya, the genderless Lizardfolk progenitor. Some ‘wild’ tribes still exist which owe no loyalty to Lesshta nor Karnok and follow the misogynistic teachings of Semuanya and lately a number of more ‘civilised’ tribes have revoked their faith in Bahamut or Tiamat to embrace the more rustic religion of the past.